Hello my name is Tamara Reese.

My story this summer will be about my family, who I am very proud of. I am honored to be a participant of The Stand’s “From Where We Stand” project this summer.

This picture is of me and my mother, former president of the Syracuse NAACP, Donna Reese. We are residents of the South Side.

My mom is holding the Syracuse Women’s Magazine article she and I were featured in this past February. The article spoke about her accomplishments throughout her career being a community advocate. Her mission has been to get the word out to end oppression to minorities, disabled, victims of violence and much more. She has won many awards for her community service work.

Also in the photo, I am holding an award for scripting achievement I recently won from The Media Unit TV and stage production company. I am an alum of this project where I wrote. The award is also for a suicide prevention public service announcement I wrote called “Hear My Call.”

The PSA is getting a great response on social media, and it also aired on the Media Unit’s local TV show called “Rough Times Live.”

In the Women’s magazine article, we told my mother’s story of not what she has achieved, but also what she overcame. My mom has been a big influence in my life. We both became moms at a young age and grew up in tough neighborhoods. That didn’t stop us; we both have excellent education and degrees and still manage to balance family, working hard to make a living, and do what we love.

In her case, what she loves is advocacy work. For me, it is the passion of performing, video production and writing. She has always been a big support helping with advice; looking after my son, Joshaun, who will be five years old soon; encouraging me, and being supportive with my dreams.

I will always support her as well. My mom is legally blind and still continues to help others especially those going through drastic life changing issues. She always gives hope. My mother is mostly the reason I do my best to break stereotypes of what people think an African-American female from the South Side of Syracuse should be.

My mom and I are educated, accomplished but humble. What my loved ones gained and overcame is all due to supporting family. This is only an introduction. There is so much more to come.